Who says moon missions have to stop? (I wouldn't be surprised if we had a secret moon base up there albeit a bit dangerous). We already know we can exit the earth's orbit with gradual ascent at a fraction of the cost (without having to use huge ass over the top one time use throw away thrusters) and safely re-enter for landing if Richard Branson's project hasn't been an indicator of this in itself. The whole ship comes back for re-use instead of being dumped or left floating in space as space junk and a fraction of the fuel is need for each launch. Besides in these financial times the US can't be seen to be pouring billions into moon landing programs anyway. People are bored with the whole moon landing thing. Mars seems to have more of a potential wow and awe factor these days it in terms of a new feat to achieve. But like with any show of entertainment value and demo of capability, a test run out of sight has to be done first before the main display of prowess/"entertainment" can be brought to the public viewing domain and arena of public knowledge.